There are plenty of advantages to hiring virtual receptionists that you’re likely already familiar with. Having someone else handle incoming calls is an enormous time-saver, and the fact that you can pass off the task to someone who will treat your customers as well as you do is a huge advantage. You and your staff can take breaks, holidays, and nights off without having to worry about customer calls coming in and not being answered.
These are just the advantages that are widely known, however; there are many more that most businesses didn’t even know existed. Before you decide whether hiring an answering service is right for you, take a look at these 4 unexpected benefits you can get from quality virtual receptionists and our list of additional perks that the best services will offer.
1. They Save You Money
Business owners often invest in their business in order to allow it to grow and better service customers, and many brands often see virtual receptionists as a necessary expense. What many don’t know is that quality answering services can actually save you money, yielding a direct profit.
Consider that more than 80% of customer callers won’t leave voicemail messages and will instead jump ship and that it would be difficult (if not impossible) for small businesses to be on call 24/7. You’ll make more by retaining and converting customers just by being accessible when they’re calling.
It’s also important to acknowledge that employing a single receptionist to handle incoming calls is more expensive than working with an answering service. The median salary of receptionists in the US is $30,025 per year, and that’s just for a single receptionist who works nine-to-five. Hiring an entire customer support team and paying for overtime, graveyard shifts, and/or holiday hours will be significantly more expensive than hiring an answering service. You also don’t have to worry about training costs, benefits, or even finding extra space in the office for team members, giving you huge cost savings and making it easier for you to land more clients, too.
2. They Can Do More than Just Answer Phones
Answering phones and directing calls is obviously a huge time-saver as it is, but most virtual receptionist services can offer much more than this.
Many of the best services have highly trained virtual receptionists who are qualified to do everything from providing basic customer support to processing payments. All of this is done safely, securely, and following every one of your company’s internal regulations. This will free up more time for your internal team, allowing them to focus on business-critical tasks instead.
An extended list of services that companies like PATLive offer include:
- Event registration
- Appointment scheduling
- Payment processing
- Help desk support
- Call transfers and screening
- Emergency response
- Lead collection
- Message taking
- Order processing
3. They Do Things Your Way
Do you need our team to use specific terms or avoid certain phrases for legal restrictions or liability reasons? We can do that.
Want us to integrate your brand’s fun, quirky voice into every interaction we have with customers calling your business? We can do that, too.
The best virtual receptionists won’t stick to their own way of doing things; they’ll adapt to yours. They’ll incorporate your brand’s greeting and voice into every call they take, and can even follow your regulations about how to resolve certain issues, how to onboard customers, and more.
PATLive, for example, offers flexible call handling instructions so that we can represent your brand exactly how you want every time.
4. They’ll Help You Improve Your Reputation
Reputation management is a crucial part of starting and building a business, because what you say doesn’t matter quite as much as a customer’s perception of you. It doesn’t matter, therefore, if you claim that customer service is a pillar of your business if you can’t back it up.
It’s our virtual receptionists’ jobs to answer every call, which comes to us after your phone lines only ring three times (or less), and to handle each one with enthusiasm, empathy, and dedication no matter what time of day it comes in.
We can spend plenty of time helping your customers, because we don’t have meetings or conference calls or any other work we need to do; it’s all about helping your customers. This can help turn unhappy callers into satisfied customers, improving how customers see your brand and making them more likely to stick around long-term.
Additional Benefits You Should Look for When Choosing a Virtual Receptionist Service
The four benefits we’ve discussed above are common– if unexpected– advantages that can come from most quality answering services. Now, we want to take a look at 4 specific features that you should be looking for when choosing an agency that you want to hire.
Each of the following features (all of which we offer here at PATLive!) will directly benefit your business, so make sure the agency that you choose has them:
Flexible Call Handling
Flexible call handling lets you not only add your personality into the mix, but really determine how we’re handling your calls so that it aligns well with your brand. “Flexible” is key, though, as you don’t want our agents stuck to a script word-for-word; our agents are trained enough to go slightly off the script to make each call personalized to the individual on the other end of the line.
Not all answering services offer this, but they should. Look for a service that has people on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year– even on holidays.
Not all clients have the same call volume or need the same services. Choose from our scaled pricing based on the volume of calls you expect, and remember that you can change it at any time.
No Binding Contracts
We don’t ever want you to get locked into a price structure or service that doesn’t work for you, so we don’t have any binding contracts that keep you stuck in any kind of month-to-month agreement. If you’re unsure if you want to proceed, you can also take advantage of our two-week free trial before you sign-up.
Virtual receptionists can help your business in a number of ways, acting as an extension of your business that makes it easier for you to connect with and serve your customers. The key, however, will be to hire high-quality, U.S.-based services that exclusively hire native speakers who are customer service experts. These will be the companies that are best able to deliver the kind of customer service that you expect and that your clients deserve.